The true tell will come once Baker Mayfield is eligible for an extension, but for now, Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry is dancing around the question of whether Mayfield is their franchise quarterback.
“Honestly, I really do not get too caught up in that type of narrative,” Berry told reporters Wednesday. “All I know is that I think Baker has played well and he has done a nice job during these first eight weeks. He has allowed us to play winning football. We have had winning football from that position. Expect him to keep doing that over the second half of the year. Look, we are going to be in a good place as a team and organization if that is the case.”
The 25-year-old Mayfield is in the third year of his four-year rookie contract, which includes a team option for a fifth year. He will also be eligible to sign an extension this offseason.
But first, Mayfield and the Browns will be chasing a playoff spot, which could go a long way in determining the quarterback’s future in Cleveland. After being the No. 1 pick in 2018, Mayfield went through two losing seasons, but now has the Browns at 5-3 at the midway point of the season while playing under his fourth head coach in three years.
Through eight games, Mayfield has completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
“Really, again the season is halfway through, but Baker has done everything that we have asked of him during these first eight weeks,” said Berry, who is in his first year as GM. “He has shown weekly improvement and done a really nice job within the system, and again, put our team in a position to win.”
Mayfield recently lost his top target, Odell Beckham Jr., for the season to a torn ACL, but the Browns entered their bye week hanging on to the final playoff spot in the AFC.
“I think Baker has done a nice job,” Berry said. “He has done a nice job of putting us in a position to win games in the first eight weeks of the season. I think we have all seen him progress on a week-to-week basis. He has done a nice job of learning the system and getting more comfortable in the system, and again, ultimately putting the team in a position to win. We are certainly pleased with him from that perspective.”
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